Full extent of paedophile’s crimes may not be known Ex-policeman jailed last year
ASOLICITOR representing a victim of a paedophile police officer who abused his position to sexually exploit young boys says the justice system may have only “scratched the surface” of the true number of his victims.
Former policeman and Scout master Allan Richards was jailed in November for 22 years after being found guilty of 40 historical sex offences dating back to the 1970s.
Seventeen boys had been victims of abuse or exploitation at the hands of predatory Richards, from Tile Cross, with his offences including rape and indecent assaults.
Over two trials, Birmingham Crown Court heard how he had sexually abused boys, some as young as eight years old, at police stations, scout camps, in swimming pools, in a park, at his home, and other locations.
One victim is now preparing to take civil action against the West Midlands Police, after the force admitted that opportunities may have been missed to bring Richards to justice 10 years earlier.
Now his solicitor, Cyrilia Davies Knight, from Hudgell Solicitors, has said she believes it is highly likely there were more victims than those who formed part of the criminal cases against Richards. She said: “We have serious concerns that there may still be many people out there who were victims of Richards and have still not come forward.
“That means they are still to receive any form of relevant and probably much needed support, and are still coping alone.
“It was only last year that officers from West Midlands Police contacted our client and told him some other victims had come forward.
“He has, quite understandably, been badly affected by what happened to him and it has had a huge impact on his life to this date, and will do for the foreseeable future.
“He was contacted as the police had put Richards’ details through the database to see which cases he had worked on. That is when our client’s name came up.
“This is far from a complete record of the young boys Richards came into contact with though over many years.”
After the trial it was revealed that Richards was removed from a public-facing role in 2004, after allegations were made about him.
He was kicked out of the scouts the same year, after the Scout Association became aware of the allegation.
He remained with the force until he retired in 2011, but a fresh investigation was launched in 2014 when another victim came forward, leading to his convictions.
The force referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in May 2015 having admitted opportunities may have been missed to prevent Richards abusing other victims after the 2004 allegations came to light.
Ms Davies Knight added: “The judge in court described him as someone who would have been a predator for the whole of his adult life, and therefore someone who would likely find a way to get to young victims in many ways, such as through his position as a scout leader.
“It is clear from supporting our client that Richards relied on his position as a police officer to frighten his victims and intimidate them into never speaking out. Our client would not have come forward. He simply didn’t feel he could.
“Many people would also perhaps feel unable to come forward and face the trauma of giving evidence in court as our client, and others, so bravely did.
“It is likely that the trials therefore may have only have scratched the surface in terms of identifying the true number of victims.”
It is likely the trials may have only have scratched the surface in identifying the true number of victims
> Former policeman and Scout master Allan Richards was jailed for 22 years